LACUNA COIL
"Dark Adrenaline"

(Century Media)

01. Trip The Darkness
02. Against You
03. Kill The Light
04. Give Me Something More
05. Upsidedown
06. End Of Time
07. I Don't Believe In Tomorrow
08. Intoxicated
09. The Army Inside
10. Losing My Religion
11. Fire
12. My Spirit

RATING: 8.5/10

In following up the experimental leanings of "Shallow Life" the intent in creating new album "Dark Adrenaline" was to make not only a heavier, even darker album in some respects, but to take those elements of the traditional LACUNA COIL sound and combine them with the more modern elements of later years. That quest to blend the old with the new has succeeded to a most impressive degree on "Dark Adrenaline", possibly the most complete and consistent album that that Italian goth metallers have released to date.

Though LACUNA COIL has never been just about a striking and charismatic front woman in Cristina Scabbia and a cast of support players, "Dark Adrenaline" is the definitive proof that this is a "band" in every sense of the word. By the same token, "Dark Adrenaline" is demonstrative of an act that uses the dual-vocalist approach with the utmost skill, making every song so much more powerful by contrasting Andrea Ferro's brawny male vocals with Scabbia's mellifluous voice. Unlike what many two-vocalist acts (or two styles of vocal) have been doing this century, there is no set formula on "Dark Adrenaline". Rather, what LACUNA COIL does here is fit each track with vocal variations that best fit the arrangements, a great example of which is heard with Cristina's work on the verse of the excellent "Kill The Light" and a Ferro vocal that explodes with the riff on the chorus. The quick-paced "The Army Inside" is quintessential in this regard and includes a final refrain that features Ferro's hardy delivery contrasted with Scabbia's harmony.

The mix of a powerful low-end, mammoth riff crunch, addictive hooks, and gothic atmospherics is as seamless as it is powerful. First single "Trip The Darkness" sets the tone as an opener, displaying the band's reinvigorated approach. The momentum never wanes from that point forward. Included is another ace cut in "Give Me Something More" that comes with a uniquely catchy Scabbia-led chorus, as well as equally hooky ballad "End Of Time" and the all-encompassing brilliance of "Upsidedown". The inclusion of R.E.M. cover "Losing My Religion" does nothing to detract from the album flow and in fact reinforces what the group has accomplished with the release, as LACUNA COIL takes the familiar and infuses it with its own identity in a way that few bands are able to do with a cover track.

It is no surprise then that "Dark Adrenaline" is an album best served in its entirety. It is an album chock full of highlights. Beginning-to-end spins each and every time are mandatory, assuming you'd even be able to find the wherewithal to stop it once it has started. "Dark Adrenaline" is further proof that LACUNA COIL is in a class all its own.

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